The Algerian player said the contract termination did not come as a result of his goal against Qatar during the FIFA Arab Cup 2021 semi-finals.
Qatar SC has terminated its contract with Algerian football player Youcef Belaili, the club said, just one day after he scored a goal that eliminated Qatar from the FIFA Arab Cup 2021.
فسخ عقد المحترف الجزائري يوسف بلايلي. pic.twitter.com/kYhTBiUTUQ
— Qatar SC | نادي قطر الرياضي (@QatarSportClub) December 16, 2021
Belaili scored a rebound following a penalty in the 17th minute of stoppage time, eliminating host Qatar from the Arab Cup with a 2-1 defeat in a dramatic semi-final match.
Belaili’s goal took his national team to the final against Tunisia where Algeria sealed a historic victory.
During the semi-final match, the referee indicated there would be nine minutes of injury time, prompting Qatar’s Mohammed Muntari to take advantage of the extra time to head an equaliser in the 97th minute.
Read also: Algeria lifts FIFA Arab Cup 2021 at Qatar’s Al Bayt Stadium
However, just minutes later Algeria was awarded a penalty in the 104th minute, in which Belaili scored his winning strike after a failed first penalty.
Belaili departs Qatar SC
Just one day after the semi-final game, Qatar Sports Club released a statement announcing the termination of Belaili’s contract “after a discussion between the player and the club”, sparking rumours online.
29-year-old Belaili recently joined Qatar SC after a long career in Algeria and Tunisia, and a brief stint with the French club Angers as well as Al-Ahli in Saudi Arabia.
The Algerian football star had scored an impressive 17 goals in 25 appearances for Qatar SC since he joined the team in November 2020.
Belaili thanked his former Qatari club in a post on his Instagram account, announcing that he is now “a free player”.
“Thank you very much to Qatar SC for the moments spent by your side and a huge thank you to the fans and the management.
“Now I am a free player,” he wrote in French.
The incident was compared to a very similar move by Perugia, when South Korea’s golden goal scorer Ahn Jung-hwan who had his contract terminated by Serie A club Perugia following a decisive goal in the 2002 World Cup that eliminated Italy from the Round of 16.
Perugia chairman Luciano Gaucci said at the time: “That gentleman will never set foot in Perugia again.”
However, Belaili debunked rumors linking the contract termination with the fact that he netted a goal against Qatar in the Arab Cup semi-final match.
“None of this is true, thank God, the club management understood the situation and told me that we terminated the contract by mutual consent, and they allowed me to go to Europe, and there is no problem with Qatar, but on the contrary, they stood with me,” he said in an interview with Al Jazeera.
هل حقا فسخ "نادي قطر" عقد #يوسف_بلايلي بعد إحرازه هدفا في مرمى #العنابي؟
لاعب منتخب #الجزائر يوضح للجزيرة مباشر حقيقة الأمر pic.twitter.com/yYmynQqc6P
— الجزيرة مباشر (@ajmubasher) December 19, 2021
According to Algerian news outlet Echorouk, Belaili’s father who is his manager, said there are plans to transfer the footballer to a European club that has not yet been identified.
Qatar SC’s termination
In an interview with Qatar-based Al Kass TV, Faisal Al-Shuaibi, CEO of Qatar SC, said that the issues between Belaili and his former club Al-Ahly of Saudi Arabia are still present, prompting the Qatari team to terminate the contract with the Algerian player.
“Belaili asked us for a professional and formal response.. Before the request, the player had made an offer that was not suitable for us, and we found that the best solution was to terminate the contract, especially since his crisis with his Saudi club, Al-Ahly, is ongoing,” Al Shuaibi said in a televised interview.
The Qatar SC official added that “Belaili must pay a sum of money to Al-Ahly Club in order to end his crisis with Al-Raqi,” he said, referring to the Saudi club.
“In fact, the Qatar Club thanks the management of the Saudi Al-Ahly Club for not filing a complaint to the FIFA, in respect of Belaili’s contract with the club.”